Staging Power.
Napoleon. Karl Johan. Alexander

On 30 September, we open our autumn exhibition Staging Power – Napoleon, Karl Johan, Alexander. The lives of the three rulers are interwoven with art in an unprecedented exhibition on the art of governing through art.


On display September 30  2010– January 23 2011

Nationalmuseum is joining forces with the State Hermitage, St. Petersburg, to present this autumn’s magnificent exhibition, Staging Power – Napoleon, Karl Johan, Alexander. Featuring a wealth of historical artifacts and fine artisan wares, the exhibition is all about the art of governing through art. In all, some 410 artifacts will be on show – a splendid selection of portraits, costumes, jewellery and other first-rate craftsmanship.

Napoleon, Karl Johan and Alexander were all skilful propagandists who knew how to use art to reflect their self-image and demonstrate the legitimacy of their claim to power. The exhibition focuses on how these three rulers influenced art and were, in turn, influenced by art. Even objects serving the most commonplace purposes could carry a political message. One example is the toothpick case carried by Bernadotte’s delegate to show that he represented the future King Karl Johan in the negotiations on the Swedish succession. Another example is a decorative cup featuring a motif in which a genie is shown carrying the Swedish crown towards a bust of Karl Johan. The inscription reads “Merit is duly rewarded”, reflecting Karl Johan’s own view of his legitimacy. He had ascended to the throne not by birth but on his own merits.

Bild: Frukostservis med porträtt av antikens stora lagstiftare och krigare, Sèvres kejserliga manufaktur.


To coincide with the exhibition, Nationalmuseum is publishing an impressive catalogue featuring a lot of previously unpublished research that interweaves the stories of the three rulers with art history. The catalogue includes an introduction to the exhibition and a listing section describing all the exhibits. It also contains various academic articles about the protagonists and art, along with historical maps and family trees.  Read more.






Entrance fee

120 SEK. 100 SEK for students, senior citizens and groups of minimum 15 people. Free entrance for children under the age of 19. 


Bild:Porträtt av Napoleon I i kröningsornat (beskuren). Francois Gerard, osignerad. © Kungl. Hovstaterna. Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, marskalk av Frankrike, prins av Ponte Corvo (beskuren), Joseph-Nicolas Jouy  efter François Kinson. © Château de Versailles Foto: RMN. Alexander I  (beskuren), François Gérard, © Statliga Eremitaget

Book a guided tour

You can book a guided tour of the exhibition for your family, friends or co-workers. Please contact our Booking Office for more information: This is an email address or +46 (0)8 5195 4428 (Tuesdays-Fridays 9 am-11am).

Audio guide

Download the audioguide to your iPod or MP3-player. You can also rent an audio guide in English at the Box Office, 30 SEK.

Thank you!

Special thanks to the Ad Infinitum Foundation for its generous support of the exhibition, to Sven Hagströmer and Lage Jonason for their support of the catalogue, and to our benefactor Moët & Hennessy.

Nationalmuseum’s sponsors and partners: Accenture, Fagerhults Belysning, Svenska Dagbladet, Fältman & Malmén, Clarion Hotel Stockholm.

  Bild: Kamé med profilporträtt av Joséphine Bonaparte, okänd italiensk tillverkare.  Bild: Halsband och örhängen,Nitot & Fils. © Victoria and Albert Museum.


Nationalmuseum Design
@ Kulturhuset Stadsteatern
Sergels torg, Stockholm 

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